There’s no question that Lisbon and beautiful design go hand in hand, as our Lisbon design guide will show. Largely rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in the 1700’s, it rose from the rubble to become a major destination for design fans. Important cathedrals, elegant neoclassical structures, and modern artistic wonders can all be found here. Our Lisbon travel guide breaks down how to get around, and we also offer curated hotels. The Portuguese capital has some very special places to dine, hotels in Lisbon, and shops that wow. Nearby are a number of fascinating and stunning sights, and this full day tour of Cascais, Pena Palace, Sintra, and Estoril is perfect for design lovers.
Just about surviving the earthquake of 1755, Lisbon’s cathedral lies in the Sé district. It was first constructed in 1147, when the city was captured from the Moors by King Afonso Henriques. Demonstrating a mix of architectural styles that span almost a millennium, its oldest sections are in the Late Romanesque style. Among them, its main façade is deliberately imposing, with a fortress-like appearance typical of the period. Inside, barrel-vaulted ceilings rise over the main space. A rebuilt chapel includes tombs of some of the country’s kings.
Largo da Sé, Lisbon
Eduardo VII Park
While not the largest of Lisbon’s parks, which is Monsanto Forest Park, Eduardo VII Park is a delightful addition to our Lisbon design guide. Running beside Avenida da Liberdade, its green spaces are awash with architectural planting and colorful flowers. Named after Britain’s King Edward VII after he visited in 1903, it was redesigned in 1945 by the Portuguese modernist Francisco Keil do Amaral. Check out the perfectly-clipped box garden that runs along its central lane, then head to its stylish greenhouses. Named the Estufa Fria, they contain the country’s collection of tropical and subtropical plants.
Praça do Marques de Pombal, Lisbon
Vasco da Gama Bridge
Providing a vital link between Montijo and Sacavém, the Vasco da Gama Bridge spans the mouth of the Tagus River. You can see his final resting place and learn more about Portugal’s discoveries on this insider tour. In the Parque das Nações district of Lisbon, it is masterpiece of twentieth century design. The bridge not only spans more than 12 kilometers, but includes a sharp turn midway across the river. Part cable-stay bridge and part traditional pier bridge, its pylons rise 148 meters. Only completed in 1998, it is the longest bridge anywhere in the European Union. Built to reduce congestion on the equally-impressive iron-red 25 de Abril (25 April) Bridge. Some of the best views appear as you land at Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado airport.
Parque das Nações, Lisbon
Mercado de Campo de Ourique
This indoor market is a place to try as well as buy the freshest local ingredients direct from their producers. Its exterior remains firmly in its 1930’s origins, but was fully renovated inside in 2013. The job of award-winning Lisbon architects, the result is slick and modern. The roof soars over the mercado supported by impressive metal props. This busy neighborhood market is still running daily. Buzzing with atmosphere throughout the day, stall-holders are more than happy for you to sample their hams, cheeses, and wines. But you’ll also find a good selection of café-style set-ups providing larger offerings including pesticos and suckling pig. If you’re looking to add another authentic experience, our Fado and dinner tour is a can’t-miss.
Rua Coelho da Rocha, Lisbon
Boasting ceilings six meters high, Prado sits inside a former factory. Its design celebrates natural light and greenery, cleverly suggestive of the menu to come. Guests also have plenty of space to enjoy their meal. Whatever they choose, they can be sure it will be local, seasonal, and organic. An attractive place to dine both day and night, its farm-to-table philosophy has been a big hit with residents and visitors alike.
Travessa das Pedras Negras 2, Lisbon
Le Consulat Hotel
Le Consulat sits in a grand six-story mansion in Chiado, in what was once the Brazilian Consulate. Offering just 20 rooms and apartments, design is right at the heart of everything it does. Each space has been tastefully decorated to allow the blend of original features and mid-century furniture shine through. There’s new Portuguese artwork hanging on its walls, and balconies provide excellent views over the city. Breakfast comes with the room, and there’s a cocktail lounge where guests can discuss their day’s discoveries.
Praça Luis de Camões 22, Lisbon
Hotel Britania – Lisbon Heritage Collection
The Hotel Britania offers its guests an authentic art deco vibe. First opened in 1940, the public areas are filled with period touches. Glass chandeliers reflect in the polished marble floors of reception, inlaid with era-defining black stripes. The bar boasts lavish quantities of polished hardwoods, together with paintings of Portugal’s heyday as a colonial power. Just over a kilometer from the Bairro Alto area, its rooms are clean and unfussy by comparison. They provide a wonderful retreat from the bustle of the streets beyond.
Rua Rodrígues Sampaio 17, Santa Antonio, Lisbon
The Feeting Room
The Feeting Room, in other words ‘the fitting room’, is far more than a trendy clothing store. Happily accepting the concept store label, here you’ll find a collection of lifestyle objects ranging from gadgets to jewelry. The stock is almost entirely from local and emerging creators. There’s also a great little café which grinds its own beans for that extra touch of class. You’ll find both on a steep cobbled street in Chiado, making use of a former bakers. It’s one of our favorite stops in this Lisbon design guide.
Calçada do Sacramento 26, Lisbon
A concept store found in the Príncipe Real neighborhood, Embaixada lies in the unmissable Ribeiro da Cunha Palace. Dating from the nineteenth century, its exteriors and interiors ooze North African charisma blended with ultra-modern chic. It houses an intriguing mix of items, from modern takes on Portugal’s traditional painted tiles to the latest fashions. Here you’ll find a huge number of brands – some household names, some just waiting to be discovered.
Praça do Príncipe Real 26, Lisbon
Lisbon’s Beautiful Designs
Our Lisbon design guide covers the best this city has to offer. From intricate monuments to modern concept stores, you’ll be dazzled at every turn. If you’re looking to dive deeper into history, we offer tours in Lisbon to discover the city. Or get out and explore tours outside the city.